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Box Turtles


Box Turtles Care Sheet
Here are some helpful tips to help keep
your Box Turtle happy and healthy.


Feeding  Box Turtles should be feed a diet of mixed fresh vegetables, fruits, canned foods like Zoo Menu Box Turtle Food and pellet food like Zoo Meds Box Turtle & Tortoise Food, both of which can be purchased under Box Turtle & Tortoise Products. Variety is the key to a healthy appetite and good health.  Try apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, kale, romaine lettuce (avoid iceberg, it has no nutritional value).  On occasions you may feed corn on the cob, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and some lean chopped meats. Also offer whole live foods like earthworms, mealworms and crickets. We also carry freeze dried earthworms and crickets which make great treats, under


Food & Treats.  Your turtle should also be given a calcium supplement like Rep-Cal or  Jurassi Cal. Vitamin/mineral supplements like JurassiVite and T-Rexs Box Turtle Dust ICB should also be used for proper turtle health. To prevent ingestion of the flooring material all food should be placed  in a dish.  All of these products can be found under Box Turtle & Tortoise Products.


Not Eating  If your turtle is not eating dont worry about it.  Often turtles will not at when you first get them. Give them time to get use to you and their new home and they should start eating.  Turtles go through stages when they dont eat, just cut back on the amount of food you offer them until they start to eat again. If you are still worried we carry appetite enhancers under Box Turtle & Tortoise Products.


Housing  The best habitat for box turtles is a large outdoor enclosure,. The pen must provide a variety of environments including sunny and shaded areas and places to hide. Turtles regulate their core body temperature by behavior and need to have a choice between sun and shade. A pile of hay or shrubbery provides ideal hiding/shady place. Being outdoors allows the turtle to supplement what you feed it with snails, slugs, earthworms, etc.

Box turtles although not aquatic, enjoy an occasional swim. A shallow pan, perhaps as deep as the turtle's carapace is high, should be sunk into the ground and kept filled with fresh water, make certain to arrange for easy access and egress of the water dish. Fresh drinking water must be provided daily. During the winter, a well-drained area piled with hay or leaves can be used for hibernation. Loosen the soil so the turtles can easily bury themselves for protection.


Indoor Housing  If an outdoor enclosure cannot be provided, a large indoor enclosure can serve as housing for a box turtle.  Absorbent flooring material such as ECO Earth Bedding, (located under Plants and Decorations) should be provided and changed regularly. Substrates that dry out or get powdery should be avoided. Cedar and pine chips can be poisonous and should not be utilized. If you want a less messy flooring we carry Turtle Turf terrarium carpet liner in our Box Turtle & Tortoise Products department.

A shallow water dish, large enough for the turtle to soak in, is required, as is an area that the turtle can hide in for a sense of security. An overturned, large clay flowerpot can serve as the hide box. Daytime high temperature of 80 F is ideal, nighttime low of 70F is OK. Do not place the turtle's home near air-conditioning vents or drafts.


Lighting  For proper vitamin and calcium absorption and shell development  UVA and UVB lighting is required. Zoo Meds ReptiSun is a highly recommended bulb for this and we carry it under Lamps.  A clamp-on  75 Watt incandescent light fixture with a reflector is necessary to provide a basking area that is warmer than the rest of the container. Ideal basking area temperature is 85 - 88 F. We carry a variety of  bulbs and reflectors under Lamps and Lighting Fixtures.

For more information on your new turtle we have several Box Turtle books in our Book department.  If you have questions you can check our Message Board, email us at turtleman@tampabay.rr.com or call Norm at 1-727-943-2786.

For our full line of turtle products please visit us at http://www.turtlesale.com



As with any pet you should always wash your hands after handling them or cleaning their home.  We recommend  using Zoo Meds hand cleaner  which can be found under Medications.  We know that you love your pet, but for your safety please dont kiss your turtle.



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